Turkish cement maker Ergani Cimento ceased production, due to financial difficulties, company general manager Metin Oral said on January 30, 2004. The move follows the decision of Turkish banking watchdog to freeze the accounts of Ergani Cimento a month and a half ago. The company said it could no longer pay the salaries to its 254 employees.
Ergani Cimneto is 100 per cent owned by local Rumeli Holding, which privatised the company for US$46.7m in 1997. Rumeli Holding, with interests in finance, energy, media and telecommunications, is controlled by the Turkish Uzan family. In June 2003, the Energy Ministry cancelled the operational licences of Uzan’s power utilities Cukurova Elektrik (CEAS) and Kepez Elektrik and reclaimed control of their power production, transmission and distribution facilities. Turkey’s banking authorities seized Imar Bank, owned by Uzan family, in early July 2003, declaring it a threat to the country’s financial stability.